Whether you’re heading away for a weekend city break or you’re escaping on a three-week luxury beach getaway, packing a suitcase is inevitable, but to pack right is the key. There are so many things to consider when packing a suitcase.
You want to get the right size bag, make sure it is not overweight, the length of your trip, how many outfits you need to bring, over and under packing, the list goes on and on. But don’t stress about it, we’re here with 15 of the best travel packing tips.
These travel hacks will help make vacation preparation so much easier.
1. Look for a unique vacation destination
There are so many unique places in the world that many people don’t go to or they’ve just never heard about. At Exceptional Villas, we offer over 40 destinations all around the world. We showcase the best and most unique luxury villas and resorts you will ever see, in stunning locations. Check out the abundant list of destinations on our website.
2. Make a list
Before you even begin to pack, you need to get organised. Packing a case can be so much easier if you have everything you need in writing beforehand. If you’re anything like me, then you may often forget a very important necessity like a swimsuit or sunglasses or even something as simple as your toothbrush. If this is the case it is better to be prepared and make a list. Write down everything you will need from travel documents to toiletries, it will make things easier in the long run.
3. Plan your outfits
Before you even begin packing a suitcase, it is important to lay out all the clothes and put outfits together. Only bring items you know you will wear. This will prevent over packing or under packing.
4. Bring versatile clothes
Pack items that you know you can wear in a few different outfits. Things like a pair of jeans or a basic top or skirt can be worn in multiple outfits. This will also help lighten your load when travelling and reduce the inevitability of overpacking.
5. Use packing cubes
These have been a godsend for me and is one of the best packing hacks I have. They help keep everything together and neat in my bag. The packing cubes come in all different sizes so you can organise different clothing items in each one. There are also some specific ones for items like jewellery or your shoes which comes in handy, as no one wants dirty shoes one clean clothes. Trust me when I say, you will feel so much more organised if you invest in these. But only use the ones you need don’t clutter your suitcase with them if it is not necessary. These travel hacks are to help you not hinder you.
6. Use Marie Kondo’s packing techniques
If buying the packing cubes is too much of a bother for you, Marie Kondo has the best tips when it comes to organisation and packing. This phenomenon is something that I have only recently discovered, and I have fallen in love. The Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo, shares techniques on tidying, decluttering and organising your home and life. These techniques can also be applied when packing for a vacation. As well as having a #1 New York Times bestselling author, Marie has recently become an internet sensation following the release of her Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”.
Marie’s techniques are all about inspiring positivity and having a good attitude about your belongings. One of Marie’s tips is to only pack things you love, only clothes that “spark joy” in you. Pack clothes that fit you well and that you feel comfortable and look nice in. Don’t overpack and make sure that every item in your bag “brings you joy”. Her folding method is what she is known most for. Not only does it save space, but it makes your bag more organised, giving you peace of mind when you arrive at your destination.
Another travel hack Marie has is to make sure you love the luggage you bring on your vacation. Both your carry on and check-in bag should be ones that you love, that you find stylish but also well organised. Marie suggests that you stand in front of your mirror with your luggage and if you don’t love it, then get rid of it. She suggests not overpacking your suitcase either. This can lead to a cluttered bag and a cluttered mind. Instead, only pack around 50% of your bag. This leaves space for anything you might buy while on vacation.
7. Put the heaviest items at the bottom.
Another of my great packing hacks is to keep items like shoes or bigger jackets to the bottom of your case. It helps to keep your suitcase balanced.
8. Wear bulky items
Another useful packing hack is to wear the pieces that would take up too much space in your suitcase. Items like boots and heavy outerwear should be worn while travelling to save space in your case. It also makes your bag lighter and saves you unnecessarily jamming your boots into your case and trying to force the zip to close.
9. Buy a luggage scale
This might seem unnecessary, but after all the shopping you’ll be doing while on vacation the zip on your bag might be ready to burst, meaning your bag may, unfortunately, be overweight. There is nothing worse than the unfortunate situation of an overweight bag and having to pay extra or trying to wear two jackets at once to lighten your load.
10. Digitise your documents
Travel documents like your passport, credit cards, driver’s license and boarding passes are essential when travelling. These items are so essential but often so easy to forget. And while there are great places to travel without a passport, it is usually needed. It is so easy to misplace them or for your wallet to get stolen. To avoid this problem, it’s easier to have all your documentation scanned onto your phone or at least email them to yourself.
11. Have your in-flight essentials in your carry-on
Whether you’re heading on a luxury Caribbean getaway like the ones you see on Exceptional Villas, or you’re going for a weekend city break, a flight is usually involved. In this case, it is important to have all your flight essentials on-hand especially for long haul flights. Some things I like to take with me are earphones a book, kindle or an iPad, snacks and gum. Other things like a portable charger, because nowadays, travel documents are usually on our phones. So, keeping them charged always is important. A moisturiser and lip balm are always something I carry in my handbag as well. The recycled air on planes can dry your skin so I always like to keep it hydrated.
If you’re going on a long-haul flight don’t forget to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste. Getting one for travel with a cover on it would be helpful too, to prevent it from getting dirty in your bag. I also like to bring thick, soft socks on the plane as well as I always get cold. Other small things I throw in my bag include a sleep mask, hand sanitiser and a pen. Make your vacation as pleasant as possible by having all your small luxuries with you on hand.
12. Have a separate pouch for cords in your case
While technology is a necessity these days, the number of cords and accessories that come with it are not. You don’t need to spend 10 minutes digging through your bag for a charger. Keep a specific pouch in your carry on with all your cables and small electronics to make travel a lot easier. You can keep portable chargers and adapters in this also.
13. Bring a reusable bottle
As far as travel hacks go, it is important to try and save the environment (and a few dollars) when you can. When packing a suitcase, throw in a reusable bottle. This cuts down on the need for single-use plastic bottles and you can bring them through security. Find a water fountain when you get through security and you’re good to go for your flight.
14. Mark your suitcase as fragile
Marking your suitcase as fragile is one of the best travel hacks I can give you. This can save your case from being thrown around while going through security and when being put on and taken off the plane. Even if there’s nothing fragile in your case, it’s a good idea to put the sticker on anyways so handlers take extra care with it. And make sure to buy a colourful case also or put a specific tag on it so you know which suitcase yours is.
15. Have transportation organised for when you land
When you land, there’s usually a scramble to get to the taxi rank to avoid waiting in long lines. Here at Exceptional Villas, we can arrange airport transfer for you to avoid the long lines. Get your holiday started on the right foot and have everything organised before you even get to the airport.
Travelling can be complicated and stressful, so if you can in any way make it easier you should. It should be relaxing and enjoyable and having it all organised ahead of time is the only way of ensuring that. Our company Exceptional Villas prides itself on our customer service. We provide complimentary concierge service prior to your vacation and during your stay as well as many traveling hacks. Just another way to make your vacation preparations easier.
About Aileen O'Shea
Aileen is a Marketing Assistant at Exceptional Villas and is passionate about travel. At Exceptional Villas, Aileen is responsible for creating content on our website and social media. Aileen is currently studying a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and New Media at the University of Limerick and loves creative writing and also the practical side of her degree, such as photography, film making and editing. She is also travelling to Barcelona next year for six months where she will further her studies in Pompeu Fabra University. Aileen also has a love of photography and is lucky that her university degree incorporates this. She never goes anywhere without her camera. She loves creating content and experiencing life through a lens. Aileen has had a passion for travel since a young age and loves to jet off any chance she gets. Her personal favourite places to travel include Italy, Israel, Dubai and Spain.